Jazz Guitar Beauties: Custom Trans-Amber Quilted Maple Heritage Archtop – Vince Lewis

Jazz Guitar Life would like to thank Jazz Guitarist Vince Lewis for sharing his beautiful Custom Trans-Amber Quilted Maple Heritage Archtop with us! Enjoy 🙂 (ed.note: This is Vince’s second Jazz Guitar Beauty Feature…you can check out his beautiful Ralston Custom 16 by clicking here)

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As a one-man operation, if you would like to support all the work I do on Jazz Guitar Life, please consider buying me a coffee or two. Your support helps me to focus on Jazz Guitar Life so that I can continue to bring you great interviews, reviews, podcasts and other related Jazz Guitar content. Thank you and your patronage is greatly appreciated regardless if you buy me a coffee or not 🙂 – Lyle Robinson

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After I officially became a Heritage Guitar Inc Performing Artist in Sept of 1991, I was able to work with the builders there in the Custom Shop to design my dream Arch top Instrument.  The first one I received was an Almond Sunburst that year, followed by this spectacular Trans-Amber Quilted Maple model in 1993.

The different features from their standard 16 inch guitar I requested are:

  • A split block Headstock inlay stating Custom
  • A Venetian (round) cutaway
  • A Johnny Smith pickguard
  • A Super Eagle 25 1/2 inch scale ebony fingerboard with cupid’s bow at the end
  • HRW custom wired pickup by Rendal Wall
  • A single set in pickup in the neck position
  • Highly quilted premium Quilted Maple sides and back with the pickguard made from the same wood as the back
  • Engraved Mother of Pearl Truss Rod Cover and Tuner Buttons
  • This guitar actually has an American Eagle 5 piece neck with ebony strips
  • Personalized label indicating a totally custom built instrument signed by the owner / builders
  • Engraved Mother of Pearl Truss Rod Cover and Tuner Buttons
  • This guitar actually has an American Eagle 5 piece neck with ebony strips
  • Personalized label indicating a totally custom built instrument signed by the owner / builders

All photos courtesy of Pete Sternloff

This guitar is the prize beauty of my collection of instruments, and I am eternally grateful to go into my 32nd year in a wonderful professional and personal association with these great builders and people in the historic 225 Parsons St Kalamazoo MI Shop.

– Vince Lewis

Vince Lewis is a veteran jazz performer, composer and recording artist. He has been a headliner on Jazz Festivals with Dave Brubeck, B.B King, Ellis Marsalis, Lou Rawls, Mundell Lowe, John Pizzarelli and Melissa Manchester.  Vince has been a featured performer in concert at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. as well as two performances at the Smithsonian Institute Jazz Bar. He also has served as Staff Guitarist at the Ritz-Carlton Resort Palm Beach FL and at The Greenbrier Resort in WV.

As well, Vince is included in the 2014 Scott Yanow book “The Great Jazz Guitarists: The Ultimate Guide”. He has recorded 20 CDs as a leader and sideman, and each has received excellent critical acclaim in virtually every major Jazz publication. In addition, he is a Heritage Guitar Inc, Benedetto Guitar, Eastman Guitar, Breedlove Guitar, SIT Strings and Redstone Audio performing Artist, and has a Vince Lewis signature archtop guitar available built by Richard Ralston, a noted New Zealand luthier. For more information please visit Vince’s website.

Please consider spreading the word about Vince’s beautiful Custom Trans-Amber Quilted Maple Heritage Archtop and Jazz Guitar Life by sharing this article amongst your social media pals and please feel free to leave a comment. We’d love to hear from you 🙂

If you would like to support all the work I do on Jazz Guitar Life, please consider buying me a coffee or visiting the Jazz Guitar Life sponsors. Thank you and your patronage is greatly appreciated regardless if you buy me a coffee or not 🙂

About Lyle Robinson 265 Articles
Lyle Robinson is the owner/creator/publisher and editor of Jazz Guitar Life, an online magazine dedicated to the Jazz Guitar and its community of fine players worldwide.

4 Comments

  1. Certainly a beautiful guitar, one just like one I conceived and had custom made 20 years ago. Unfortunately, the builder put in the wrong inlays and got the color wrong. I have never ordered a custom made guitar since. There are great builders that I would use today, but that time for me is past. Be careful if you order a custom guitar.

    • Hi Lan and thanks for dropping by to share your experiences. Sorry that it was not more of a positive outcome for you. I think in Vince’s case, Heritage is such a well-known guitar maker that any issues would have been handled properly. Thankfully for him, there were none.

      Thanks again Lan and take care.

      All the best.

      Lyle – Jazz Guitar Life

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